Photo of Julie Moreno

Julie Moreno

Student Testimonial

MA International Affairs (2018)

Facilitator, Family Resource Network, at the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association

Previous employment:

  • Refugee Case Manager at Canada Immigration and Education Services
  • Assistant to Members at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
  • Project Coordinator/Research Assistant at the Centre for Meditation, Peace and Resolution of Conflict

What I enjoyed most about NPSIA was all of the different relationships I was able to make. In my bachelor’s degree, I found it really hard to connect with professors as the classes were large in size and lecture-based. At NPSIA, class sizes were small and structured more like seminars, which created a very engaging, interactive, and hands-on learning environment. I was able to get to know professors on a more personal level and create deeper relationships with them, which effectively, increased my learning experience. Furthermore, I was able to make amazing friendships with my fellow students, which I still maintain to this day.

My studies at NPSIA taught me how to be resilient and hardworking. Being a graduate student you learn that you actually have a lot of learning to do, that it’s not as easy as you think to get the grades you want, and that you have to work twice as hard to get where you want to be. My studies also taught me how to critically analyze…. really analyze…. all of the information you are given – you have to question it, and question everything! It taught me to dive deep, explore different topics, learn from others, and open my mind to different ideas and ways of thinking. It allowed me to get where I am today because it equipped me with the academic tools and skills I need to follow any path I wish in the future!

In my current job position, I facilitate healthy relationships programming for immigrant parents and youth that covers different topics, such as healthy relationships, culture/values, gender stereotypes/norms/roles, equality vs. equity, healthy communication, conflict resolution, consent, boundaries, healthy decision-making, self-care and more. Since I work for a settlement agency, my workshops are delivered primarily to new Canadians, refugees and permanent residents. In order to achieve this, I created qualitative evaluation tools and conducted an extensive needs assessment in the community with other agencies/organizations, immigrant parents, and youth in order to identify the gaps in current programming, as well as the challenges and barriers associated with accessing programming for vulnerable populations. After the needs assessment was completed, I compiled all the data and coded the information to extract recurring themes. The needs assessments were used to inform the development of 2 healthy relationships curriculums: one for parents and one for youth, each 6 sessions long. The curriculum is what I use to deliver the programming in the community and at local schools. In the future, I see myself continuing to work in the non-profit sector, or for an international non-governmental organization (such as Oxfam, Plan Canada, etc.) managing projects in developing countries. I love working in the immigration/newcomer field as well, so I would really enjoy working for an organization that serves this population in Canada in some way or another.

NPSIA is hard, challenging, exhilarating, stressful, emotional, and amazing all in one. Enjoy every class, every lecture, learn as much as you can, soak it all in, and take advantage of the opportunities that come with living in Ottawa!